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Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin


Born:  January 17, 1706 in Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Died:  April 17, 1790 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Occupation:  scientist, inventor, printer, statesman/philosopher

Family: Never married, but took a common-law (considered married) wife named Deborah Rogers in 1730; children: Francis, William, and Sally (William's mother was not Deborah Rogers). Education: Formally schooled until the age of ten.

Benjamin Franklin.

Benjamin Franklin was a man of many talents. He is best remembered in the United States as a statesman. A statesman is someone who holds many public offices.

Benjamin Franklin was born to Josiah and Abiah Franklin in 1706. Born in Massachusetts, he moved to Pennsylvania in 1723. His father was a soapmaker and candlemaker. Franklin left school at age ten to help his father at work. Soon he learned the printing and publishing business at a newspaper. He also wrote for the paper. In 1730, he bought his own magazine, called the Pennsylvania Gazette. Franklin would write for and publish his own magazines and books throughout his life.

Franklin was a scientist. His most famous experiment was one in which he flew a kite during a thunderstorm. The kite had a metal rod on its top and a metal key at the bottom of the string tail. When lightning hit the metal rod, a spark jumped from the key to Franklin's hand. This proved that lightning was actually static electricity. Franklin also invented the lightning rod, bifocal glasses, and a glass harmonica.

In addition to his other activities, Franklin was the deputy postmaster general of the American colonies for 21 years. He was also involved in politics. Franklin was a major figure of the American Revolution. The American Revolution was the war fought between the United States and Britain over the United Stated governing itself. However, he did not fight on the battlefield. Franklin helped behind the scenes. He was one of the writers of the Declaration of Independence. This is the document that guaranteed America freedom and independence from British rule.

Source Citation:  "Benjamin Franklin." Kids InfoBits. Thomson Gale, 2005.   Reproduced in Kids InfoBits.  Detroit:  Gale, 2011.   http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/KidsInfoBits